"Commissioner, It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed. This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets. Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing. I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player). I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen. I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do. When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals? Please advise…. Dan G."
Chris Paul is calling the shots here. I’m sure that’s difficult for some of the rich, white NBA owners to wrap their head around – a 20-something black man is going to dictate to me what happens with my hundred-million-dollar business? – but it is reality.
What’s the NBA going to do, try to ship Chris Paul to Sacramento or Milwaukee or some small market team? Guess what? He’s not going to ink a long-term deal with them. Chris Paul has made it pretty clear – he wants to play for a team with Championship-caliber players (Knicks, Lakers, Clippers) in the city of his choice, and that’s what’s ultimately going to happen.
Why delay the inevitable? David Stern must reverse this ruling.
(Unless, of course, David Stern’s grand plan is to let Chris Paul walk and then contract the New Orleans franchise.)
* I will soon be making the argument that the Chris Paul trade was actually full of win for the Rockets and Hornets.